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Team USA Recap: MTB World Cup Closes with Podiums, BMX Captures Four World Cup Podiums, and Sheehan wins Paris-Tours

By: Anne Stein  October 09, 2023

We recap the latest in American bike racing from the past two weeks (September 26-October 10)


CRO Race: Croatia

(September 26-October 1)Magnus Sheffield (INEOS Grenadiers) placed 4th overall at the CRO Race, finishing just two seconds out of third behind teammate Ethan Hayter. Sheffield took the leader’s jersey on Stage 4 of the six-stage race, but lost his lead on the next stage due to a sprint-finish crash. Sheffield, 21, placed 1st in the Youth category.

Complete results here

Paris-Tours: France

(October 8)Riley Sheehan (Israel PremierTech) won the biggest race of his young career, taking first at the 214 kilometer, one-day classic Paris-Tours. Sheehan, 23, is a trainee (stagiare) rider with Israel PremierTech and won a five-man sprint at the end to take the win. “I’m speechless,” he said afterwards. “Winning such a race is incredible for me!” Sheehan won the Joe Martin Stage Race and two NCL criteriums earlier this season.

Complete results here


UCI MTB World Cup: Snowshoe, West Virginia

(September 28-October 1) – The second to last weekend of World Cup MTB racing saw Americans earn a number of podium spots.

In the DH finals, Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing) took 3rd in Elite while Ryan Pinkerton(GT-Continental Racing) continued his winning streak, taking 1st in the Junior Men’s race with Evan Medcalf (Evolve Racing) taking 2nd. Taylor Ostgaard (Transition Factory Racing) placed 2nd in her first Junior Women’s World Cup podium, with Kale Cushman in 5th.

In elite women’s XCO, Savilia Blunk (Rockrider Ford) took 4th and Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) was 8th. Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) earned Bronze in Men’s U23 XCO and Bjorn Riley (Trek Future Racing) was 5th. In women’s U23, Sofia Waite (Waite Endurance) was 7thand Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) was 9th.

Haley Batten placed 7th and Gwendalyn Gibson 9th in Women’s Elite XCC. Riley Amos placed 1stin men’s U23 XCC, Brayden Johnson (Bear National Team) was 5th and Bjorn Riley was 8th. In Women’s U23, Madigan Munro and Sofia Waite placed 5th and 6th.

Hannah (Finchamp) Otto took 1st in the 105 kilometer marathon mountain bike event. Otto won the nearly six-hour race (5:46:31) with a gap of more than 5 minutes over the second-place finisher. It was her first Marathon MTB World Cup win.

Results here

UCI MTB World Cup: Mont-Sainte-Anne, Canada

(October 5-8) – In the final weekend of the UCI MTB World Cup, Americans earned podium spots and nailed down top rankings overall in the World Cup series.

Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) won his second race of the season and secured 2nd overall in the World Cup series with a hard-fought win over a muddy, rainy course in men’s U23 XCO. Bjorn Riley (Trek Future Racing) took 3rd and secured 6th overall for the season. Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) also podiumed, placing 3rd in women’s U23 XCO and placing 6th overall in the WC series. Savilia Blunk (Rockrider Ford) placed 7th in the elite women’s XCO race.

Ryan Pinkerton (GT-Continental Factory Racing) placed 1st overall in Junior Men’s Junior Downhill standings, while Evan Medcalf (Evolve Racing) placed 7th.

Dakotah Norton (Intense Factory Racing) placed 6th and Luca Shaw (Canyon Collective Factory Team) was 7th in the Elite Men’s Downhill Final, placing 9th and 10th overall in the series. In women’s junior racing, Kale Cushman placed 6th and Abby Ronca (Gravity Academy) was 8th. Taylor Ostgaard (Transition Factory Racing) was 8th overall in Junior Women’s standings.

In short track action, Christopher Blevins (Specialized Factory Racing) took his first podium of the season placing 3rd in Men’s Elite XCC, while Gwendalyn Gibson (Trek Factory Racing) and Haley Batten (Specialized Factory Racing) placed 7th and 8th on the elite women’s side. Gibson ended the season 8th overall in XCC standings. In the U23 races, Riley Amos (Trek Factory Racing) took bronze, Bjorn Riley (Trek Future Racing) was 6th and Brayden Johnson (Bear National Team) was 10th. Amos finished 3rd overall and Riley was 8th for the XCC season. Sofia Waite (Waite Endurance) and Madigan Munro (Trek Factory Racing) placed 6th and 8th on the Women’s U23 final, with Munro placing 7th overall for the XCC WC series.

Results here


UCI BMX Racing World Cup, 7 & 8: Santiago Del Estero, Argentina

(October 7-8) – 17-year-old Ava Corley (Tangent/ Rift/ Rockstar Racing Team) earned her first-ever U23 World Cup podium spot with a win in Round 7 of the BMX World Cup. McKenzie Gayheart(Factory Full Tilt/Radio) placed 6th. In the elite women’s race, Felicia Stancil (Factory SSquared/Answer) placed third for her first World Cup podium of the season.

Sunday’s racing saw Cameron Wood (Mongoose/USA BMX Foundation) make a triumphant return from an early season injury to take 2nd in the Elite Men’s final. On the elite women’s side, Alise Willoughby (Team Toyota/ Daylight Cycle Co) placed 5th in the finals and Payton Ridenour(Mongoose Bicycles) was 8th. McKenzie Gayheart podiumed for the second time this season in the women’s U23 race, placing 3rd, and Ava Corley placed 8th.

Team USA will again compete in Santiago Del Estero next weekend in Rounds 9 and 10 of to conclude the World Cup season.

Complete results here


UCI Gravel World Championships: Veneto, Italy

(October 7-8) – National Champions Keegan Swenson (Santa Cruz Bicycles/SRAM) and Lauren Stephens (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) placed 5th and 6th respectively in the elite men’s and women’s fields at the UCI Gravel World Championships, held in Veneto, Italy. Both races attracted top pros from the road and gravel cycling worlds, with the men tackling a 169 kilometer gravel/paved course, and elite women taking on 140 kilometers.

Swenson overcame a couple of crashes and a mid-pack start to finish the race in an all-out sprint with former World Road Race champion and Tour de France stage winner Alejandro Valverde. Stephens was slowed by a mechanical mid-race but fought her way back. “Last year I was in the winning break and then cramped out of it with 30km to go,” she said afterwards. “This year I was able to hold my own in the group and had a much better finish.”

Besides elite riders, more than 1,000 cyclists representing 44 nations vied for age-group titles in 22 categories, including these USA podium finishers: Victor Sheldon (3rd, M55-59); Juergen Eckmann (1st, M60-64); Amy Phillips (2nd, W50-54); Tracey Jacobs (1st, W55-59); Susan McDonough (2nd, W60-64); and Pam Glenn (1st, W65-69).

Complete results here


USCX Series: Charm City Cross: Baltimore, Maryland

(September 30-October 1) – Day 1 of racing at Charm City saw Andrew Strohmeyer (CXD-Trek Bikes) and Curtis White (Steve Tilford Foundation Racing) place 2nd and 3rd in men’s C1 elite racing. Strohmeyer earned the win the next day, with White again taking bronze.

US juniors continued their domination of the series, with Miles Mattern (CXD-Trek Bikes), Henry Coote (Competitive Edge Racing) and Luke Walter (Fairview Mountain Bike Team) taking the top three spots on day 1’s C1 racing. On day 2, it was Coote, Mattern and Alexander Scopinich-Burgel (New England Devo p/b Cadence Wealth Management) placing 1, 2, 3. On the women’s side, day 1 saw Alyssa Sarkisov (CXD-Trek Bikes) and Alyssa White (Finkraft Junior Cycling) placing 2ndand 3rd. On day 2, Sarkisov placed 3rd and White was 4th.

The series wraps up at the end of October at the Really Rad Festival, in Falmouth, Massachusetts.

Complete results here